Every calf raiser knows that keeping calves healthy is not an easy job. Neonatal calves are born with a very limited immune system. When newborn calves are exposed to an environment in which the disease-causing pathogens “outweigh” a calf’s immune resources, calves can get critically ill.
Preventing disease is cheaper than treating sick animals. Prevention starts with good hygiene practices and protocols. Partner with Acepsis to build the right hygiene platform for your calf raising program.
Creating Hygiene Protocols and Standard Operating Procedures:
It is important to understand that each farm has its individual ‘pathogen profile’ and that pathogens also vary greatly depending on their location within a farm and the season of the year. There is virtually an unlimited supply of a wide range of disease-causing pathogens, from bacteria to viruses to parasites. The majority of pathogens on a farm are embedded in biofilm, that slimy, slippery substance that protects disease-causing organisms from many standard disinfection products and practices. Biofilms are virtually immune to antibiotic therapies.
While biofilms may be difficult to eliminate through basic cleaning protocols, they are not invincible. An adoption of the same protocols and hygiene practices employed by food processors has been proven to be an effective method of managing the development of biofilm communities. A step-by-step cleaning process has been outlined for calf housing and feeding equipment. (See Sanitation for calf scours prevention Sockett BV (003))
Cryptosporidium – A Calf Killer
There are many species of Cryptosporidium that infect animals, some of which also infect humans. The parasite is protected by an outer shell that allows it to survive outside the body for long periods of time and makes it very tolerant to chlorine disinfection. While this parasite can be spread in several different ways, drinking water is the most common way to spread the parasite. Cryptosporidium is a leading cause of waterborne disease among calves. Once in a calves environment, the organism is very difficult to eliminate. Dr. Sockett, DVM, Ph.D., a member of the University of Wisconsin’s Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory, states that chlorine dioxide is the most effective product used to manage C. parvum. (See: Cryptosporidiosis in Calves)
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